I was recently asked to describe what it is like to experience sciatic pain.
At first, I thought it is a little bit like asking ‘How long is a piece of string?’ But in fairness, for someone who has never had to endure sciatic pain or thinks they might be starting with sciatic pain, it is a good question, and an important one.
On the latest occasion of suffering sciatic pain I was foolish enough to ignore the warning signs.
I had just finished a training session (when I am not massaging I teach karate) and I got my first warning sign which felt like a constant mild electric tremor or internal itch in the top of my right buttock near the base of my spine (the sacroiliac joint). Unfortunately I had used my wife’s car that evening and if you have read my previous blogs you will know I have to duck to get into the car, and as I did this I felt a sharp shooting pain going down my right leg. On arriving home, I showered, changed and went to bed. This is when I should have started to treat the symptoms by placing an ice pack on the point of origin, followed by a hot wheat bag or hot water bottle, and some gentle stretching, again as described in one of my previous blogs.
The next day the warning signs were still there and, again foolishly, I ignored them and drove up to Lancashire (over 120 miles) to take a karate class. It was on my fateful homewards journey when I got stuck in traffic that the sciatic pain got stronger and stronger so that by the time I arrived home the shooting pains going down my right leg were excruciating and I struggled to walk the few yards from my car to my front door.
So what is sciatic pain like? It is everything from the sensation of a mild electric tremor/internal itch in the lower back/top of the buttock, to wishing someone would cut your leg off to stop the pain!
The moral of the story is don’t be a fool like me and ignore those early warning signs!
My advice is the following:
- Firstly, ice the source of the pain to reduce the inflammation of the nerve sheath.
- Then apply heat (not too hot) to relax the muscles around the source of the pain.
- Do a gentle stretch to open up both the SI joint and the lumbar spine on the side of the pain.
- Do not sit for long periods, and have regular breaks on long journeys.
- Invest in a Sciatic Pain Relief Cushion.
I know the last one sounds like I am pushing the product, and yes I am, but to help others to reduce their pain, reduce their reliance on painkillers and to get their lives back. It worked for me and has for many of my patients and customers who have bought the cushion.
I invented the Sciatic Pain Relief Cushion for my own use but, as my colleague Mark said, the idea is too good to keep to myself, and it is only right that I share both my idea and my experience of dealing with sciatic pain with fellow others.
I hope this short piece has been of value to those of you who experience sciatic pain, and if you are not a sufferer yourself please pass this on to anyone you know who might find it useful, because if they can identify the warning signs early enough you may save them from a very excruciating, painful experience.
Best wishes to you all.